During a speech in Washington last week, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Israel must come to terms with the fact that it will have to uproot thousands of Jews from their homes to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian Arab state.
"We need to have a final map," said Lapid. "We cannot escape the need to map the final borders of a future Palestinian state...including an organized plan for the evacuation of tens of thousands of [Jewish] settlers."
At the same time, Lapid said Israel needs to know that acceptable security arrangements will be made to bring an end to ongoing Palestinian terrorism.
"We need to know how the story will end, because if we know that, we can be more understanding and responsive to the needs of the other party," he continued. Therefore, "we need to go all out, draw maps, write agreements, and then set a time frame for implementation."
In his meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, Lapid reiterated the Israeli government's commitment to achieving a final status peace deal.
Lapid acknowledged that, like many Israelis today, he "does not believe the Palestinians" when they speak of peace. "I need to overcome this," he said, " I need time." Though many have pointed out that Lapid started out trusting the Palestinians fully, as a lot of Israelis did in the early 1990s, and that the realities of the situation are what have altered his view today. Those realities remain in force today.
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